UNIVERSITY FOR HEDGEHOGS

Congrats! You’re a clever enough sausage to have a place at University! Three-∞ years(if you’re like me and never want to leave the safe-haven of education) of drinking, sex, and partying lay ahead of you! Supposedly…

If you’re a student who is anything like myself, the misconceptions that baby boomers, taxi drivers and Channel 4’s Fresh Meat give you about your university years, are slightly terrifying. . When a friend of of  your parents jokingly asks about all the ‘partying’ you do at uni, you have learnt the stock answer of ‘oh I don’t drink much, I’m not very good at being a student,’ but why aren’t you a good student? It is time, to embrace your pyjamas, your Netflix account and your duvet, snuffle into them like leaves, get comfy, take pride in your modest amount of friends! You are a Hedgehog Student and you are proud!  

I feel I must explain my choice of woodland creature, hedgehogs hibernate, which although you probably don’t sleep through the winter, staying in, being balled up, fending off potential club invites with your spines of apathy and introverson is your way! If you must, you could be any other kind of hibernating creature and if you are dissatisfied with the idea of being branded as one of the most road killed animals then go ahead and choose from the following hibernating creatures: (although none have the same ring, plus hedgehogs are smol and cute, as I’m sure, are you)

  •  Bumble Bee Student
  •  Grizzly Bear Student
  •  Alpine Marmot Student

The problem with the construction of this big student party animal myth is the fact that it makes you feel like you’re somehow studenting wrong. You see your friends that like to go out, they appear blurry eyed, clinging to their best friends and cheap cocktails in club photos on your Facebook feed, and for some reason,  it creates in you, a strange concoction of guilt and panic that you’re wasting your time away by not conforming to the stereotype.

My aim is not to shame people that enjoy a night out, in fact all of my nights out (which I could probably count on my two hands), at uni, have all been great, I even met Hodor from Game Of Thrones at one! The intention is to offer you a dish of reassurance berries, (not milk because hedgehogs are lactose intolerant) and say , you are a good student, if you’re procrastinating or studying or whatever else, you got here, you’re doing great, and the amount that you go out does not matter. If you don’t enjoy going out, stay in! Embrace it! You’re here because you love what you study (or at least have enough interest to not drop out) not to fit the party animal cookie cutter. So lets raise our mugs of tea consumed in bed to the Hedgehog students.

IN ADORATION OF::THE CHEWBACCA MASK LADY


chewbaccaIn a time dominated by mainstream and social media, we have become a society all-consumed by news, current events, memes and fail videos. Of recent weeks, as per usual, the topics that have dominated phone, tablet and laptop screens all over the country have been less than light hearted to say the least: Harambe, the tragic gorilla that made everyone an over night zoologist, the EU debate and all of Facebook’s sudden political experts, and possibly the worst of all, more Game Of Thrones spoilers than you can shake a Valyrian steel sword at. The point is, the internet can be a difficult place to navigate without getting a bit bummed out by something or other. And in times of great darkness there must always be a guiding light. Enter: Candace Payne, AKA ‘Chewbacca Mom’. 

If you have not yet experienced the delight of Chewbacca Mom , first of all  make sure you’re alive because really, where have you been for the past few weeks? Second, click here to catch up you troglodyte. This wonderful woman giggled her way into the public eye a few weeks ago and since then for Candace Payne a Texas mother, it has been a pretty sweet May. From the video’s breaking of Facebook video viewing records, to interviews on national American television, the latest attention surrounding ‘the happiest chewbacca’ is the news of the staggering approximate $420,000 worth of goodies and experiences she has been rewarded (including full scholarships for her entire family from a Florida university) for simply having a laughing fit on the internet.

I am however, not writing to criticise the credibility of her rewards, or to dwell on my jealousy of her free trip to Disney World. But instead I choose to congratulate and thank her. How often is it that something genuinely good happens in the mainstream eye at the moment without being tainted or proven false? Answer: hardly ever. This video, may well be fluff but what it stands for is something much larger that we can all learn from.  It’s the simple pleasures, the cheap thrills of a children’s mask and a giggle; the ability to find happiness in an often very bleak world and to share that with others. In a time of international crisis, cyber bullying and Tay Tay’s break up with Calvin Harris, Candace Payne can teach us all a thing or two, sometimes it’s all about the little things in life.

 

Feminist Barbie

Mattel’s new line of Barbies have been released recently and she is looking.. well, actually what isn’t she looking?

 

For years, Barbie has been used as an example in so many discussions about unrealistic portrayals of the female form. Her impossibly slender form, that dizzyingly imbalanced boob to foot size ratio, criticisms were valid and frequent. As a child this didn’t really phase me, entering my tweens, leaving Barbie behind, I began to realize that perhaps growing up into a body that looked just like my favourite toy may not be as possible as I had always imagined (and that’s not because of my inability to own a dream house and a pink Jeep.)

Recently third wave feminism has saturated the media, companies from Virgin Media to Always have been using the empowered woman, the This Girl Can approach to market their products. Sceptically one could argue that capitalism and feminism don’t naturally go hand-in-hand and that using women’s rights to sell stuff is perhaps of slightly questionable morals, however at the end of the day, consumerism aside, it gets the message to the masses. Barbie just recently has caught on and has become a far more diverse and inclusive product in doing-so.

Not long ago the Moschino Barbie was introduced as ‘So fierce’ by a little boy in her commercial, beginning a dialogue about gender roles and children’s toys. Barbie also has a Vlog in which she talks about being all that you can be and even introduced Mae Jemison (African American- female astronaut, doctor all round inspiration)to her young audience. The new dolls soon to be released promise to be curvy, tall, short, petite, and with a range of ethnicities and hair types. As seen in he advert, children can play with a doll that looks like them, that they can relate to, and because of this be able to identify themselves as members of a growingly diverse world.  Barbie has moved into 2016 as an inspirational, important feminist icon for children and that is something that in the 90’s one would never have guessed.

 

 

 

Track Of The Week:: Vampire Weekend- Diane Young

Track Of The Week:: Vampire Weekend- Diane Young

CLICK HERE to watch it

Sticking with the indie pop theme this week with Vampire Weekend’s ‘Diane Young’ with the modificatiom of pitch on vocalist Ezra Koenig’s vocal, the chorus sounds quite experimental. The use of a hawaii five- o style guitar run also makes for an interesting addition to the track, which to me is what really gives Vampire Weekend their edge from other indie pop bands.

Feature:: Music Snobbery and the age of the ‘guilty pleasure’

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Ed Sheeran, what a sell out huh? Not quite as into Lana Del Ray as you used to be since she got more popular?  Two Door Cinema Club not quite as ‘indie cool’ as they used to be? We all think these things; do you find yourself growing uninterested in an artist as soon as they begin to rise in popularity? Many of us do, it’s human instinct to protect what is ours and this applies to music too, it seems like once a musician’s fan base grows and radio airplay increases, we start to think that is no longer our ‘cool personal discovery’ and more a case of over exposure.

 

It’s all in the subculture, we are finding more and more of these groups springing up and it seems like that’s what matters to us, it’s not about how the artist sounds; more, what the fans look like and whether the artist has an army of cloned 12 year olds following their every breath on twitter.

 

Why is it that it’s cool to hear some sound waves and not cool to hear others? As in the end, it’s just a sensation, we don’t say ‘oh well it’s cool to see purple colours but not cool to look at yellows’. Bringing up names like Bieber and One Direction would make many recoil into a state of disgust and admittedly I would be the first to hiss at how awful and overproduced they are, but for the few that are into them, why do we live in a society that damns them for liking it?

 

This then spawns my interest into the so called ‘guilty pleasure’. We all have them, be it Nickelback, Mcfly or Taylor Swift. The most edgy of music hipsters will plug their Beats by Dre into one of their guilty pleasures even if they swear that all they listen to is underground art rock.

 

For instance, my friend recently told me off for listening to screamo and it didn’t seem out of place to me whatsoever, but really if one enjoys that genre nothing should stop them from tuning in to whatever the hell they feel like, without feeling their ipod playlist is inferior to that of their friends. In an increasingly sarcastic generation, it seems like it isn’t ‘cool’ to like anything any more, unless of course you like it ironically, you spend half of your time concealing the things you enjoy because you’re worried others will judge you for enjoying that thing. I think it’s time for a revolution of unapologetic enjoyment because in the end, you are what you love, even if what you love is ‘Toxic’ by Britney.

 

By Chloe Cooper